There is a lot to be taken from this series. Doc and Marty's adventures taught a whole generation that while you can't let people walk all over you, you need to know when to back down from a taunt. It taught that the future isn't written yet. It taught that the power of love is tougher than diamonds and rich like cream, stronger and harder than a bad girl's dream. We could actually go on and on about the power of love, however the strongest moral no doubt taught by these films is rather simple: Don't fuck around with time travel.
Seriously don't do it.
While Doc himself may be rather eccentric, this moral is certainly not missed on him, as throughout the series he frequently reminds himself of this -- saying shit like, "I wish I'd never invented that infernal time machine. It's caused nothing but disaster."
"If only there were a way to go back and not invent it ..."
This regret becomes especially evident in the third film when Doc and Marty save a woman from falling into a ravine. This woman, Clara, they learn, was supposed to die in that fall, meaning that they have just saved a life that wasn't supposed to be saved, which is a bit of a no-no when it comes to time travel.
Luckily Clara has a vagina open for business, and she and Doc end up in love, hanging behind in the Wild West, quietly trying to stay out of time's way. Marty makes it back to 1985, destroying the DeLorean in the process. The film closes with Marty standing over the wreckage saying, "Well Doc ... it's destroyed ... just like you wanted."
The end. Right?
WAAAH? AHHHH! Is that a flying train?
GAH! He built flying children, too?!
So ... OK ... what? Doc returns back to 1985 dressed like he's Willy Wonka to give Marty a little hello, in broad daylight in a giant flying train. Huh. He now has kids with his wife who technically shouldn't even exist in the first place, and he's somehow harnessed the power of the steam engine to once again bend space-time.
After a brief and surprisingly not-awkward visit, the Brown family prepares to depart, but not before Marty asks Doc where he is going next, speculating that he must be going to the future. Doc happily dismisses this, saying, "Nope, already been there!"
The train blasts off, leaving Marty and his girlfriend no doubt thrilled that Doc has decided to take his bizarro steampunk family-train roaring into the past to do GOD KNOWS WHAT.
Jesus shit, Doc! You had two directions -- forward in time and back in time. One of those directions already has flying machines in it, and the other direction has your great-grandfather and the great-grandfathers of everyone you know -- and you choose going in the direction that could kill everybody? Thanks, Doc! Surely Marty will have no problem sleeping at night knowing that you're hovering over the pilgrims or Abe Lincoln with your giant prototype flying snake, perpetually gambling the possibility of paradoxing the world into oblivion.
... of the universe!
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David is a freelance writer and aspiring screenwriter who spends most days moderating in the Cracked Comedy Workshop and watching movies. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check him out over at Film School Rejects, where he is a weekly contributor.
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